Thursday, April 24, 2008

I Want It Now

I want the works
I want the whole works
Presents and prizes and sweets and surprises
Of all shapes and sizes
And now
Don't care how
I want it now
Don't care how
I want it now - from the Oompa Loompa song

Earlier last week, I was cleaning up in the closet and noticed that there was a copy of "Civilization II - Test of Time." It's an old, old game for the PC that lets you pick a people group and build a civilization. That's right, you get to RULE THE WORLD!!!!

So I began the game and decided to be the Ancient Greeks. I figured I had a depth of knowledge about them, knew the geography, and might get to show Alexander how a REAL general would handle those pesky Persians.

But it's so darn slow, this empire building. You have to convince people to settle, and farm, then build cities and defend them. There's danger of loss from outside forces and from treachery within. Even if you make yourself supreme ruler (they actually have a "despot mode" of government mode) people will be - people. Everything just takes so long.

That prospect of making things happen NOW! is most appealing to the pastor of a small church, friends. There's so much of what happens here that can best be described as incremental gains. You cheer when a couple more guys join the men's group. You're ecstatic when a couple of families seem to be fitting in. And have someone cross over to faith in Jesus, and it is as if everything you are doing is paying off.

This is not the place of giant leaps, or miraculous growth. No Beanstalks - more like centipede grass.

In the game, they have "cheat codes" you can use to speed up the process - to advance beyond what you could have expected to normally.

Ever hear of anything like that in the church? Or ever think about how easy this would be if only *those* people got out of the way or *those* people would come and join you?

I'd be surprised to meet a pastor who didn't want to see God glorified in His church. Or who didn't want it to happen sooner rather than later.

It's that "Don't care how" part that worries me.

I'll let God be the judge of other people's ministry. But I'll answer for mine. So if you'll pray for me to keep my desires in line with God's plan, I'd be grateful.

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